The latest round of grants from the Australia Council for the Arts has been announced, with projects centred on health and wellbeing the strongest beneficiaries. Big hART’s SKATE Halfpipe, a new touring work focused on youth mental health, a community project from Everybody NOW! Ltd, which explores age through the relationship between seniors and children, and a theatre experience from director Sarah Austin for babies and their carers are among the projects funded. The latest grants round sees an investment of $6.5 million in 186 projects, to be delivered by 131 individual artists or groups and 55 small to medium arts organisations.

Claire EdwardesClaire Edwardes. Photo © Jordan Adams

Frank Panucci, Australia Council Executive Director, Grants and Engagement, has said that many of the projects funded in this round also demonstrate a significant focus on community.

“Around one-third of the successful applicants nominated audience engagement or access and participation in the arts as primary outcomes of their project, reflecting the Australia Council’s strategic aim of connecting Australians through creativity,” he said. “Now more than ever the arts and creativity have a critical role in bringing communities together.”

Yitzhak Yedid. Photo © Michael Arenson

Other successful applicants include the Four Winds Festival, which has received $82,202; Rubiks Collective, which has been given $22,742 for a three-week US tour including four performances, two major recordings, and professional development with new music specialists; and ELISION Ensemble, which has received $48,368 for national and international touring activities which includes a residency at the Centre for 21st Century Music at the University at Buffalo, and a headline appearance at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music. 

Among the individuals who have received grants, percussionist Claire Edwardes has been given $24,910 for the commissioning and recording of a compilation of Australian percussion solos by women composers. Composer Yitzhak Yedid received $25,710, which will see him undertake a residency at the Barngarla Indigenous Australian Community Centre in South Australia, and compose, record and release a new album, Music for Ancient Rituals. Composer Mary Finsterer has received $21,395 that will see her compose two new works to be performed by Gabriella Smart and Lizzy Welsh in Australia and Berlin, while flautist Lina Andonovska has been given $8,213 for a professional skills development program to be undertaken with Ensemble Modern, Darmstadt and Classical:NEXT.